Happy first day of spring!! Today might not actually be the first day of spring where you live, but, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, spring officially begins here in Colorado tonight at 10:30pm (MDT). Did you know that this is the earliest spring since 1896??!!

The final flower in our Countdown to Spring 2016 series is the Wild Iris (Iris missouriensis), aka Rocky Mountain iris or western blue flag. The gorgeous bluish-purple (and occasionally white) blooms of the Wild Iris can generally be found in large colonies in the meadows of Colorado’s foothills to montane zones.

Grass Creek

North Fork Trail – Big Thompson River

North Fork Trail – Big Thompson River

The roasted seeds of the Wild Iris are supposed to be an adequate substitute for coffee, but in general, this plant should not be ingested due to its toxicity. Historically, the Wild Iris has been used quite extensively in folk medicine, primarily to treat skin problems. The ground up roots of this plant have been used to make arrow poison.

Roxborough State Park

Grass Creek

That’s it for the Countdown to Spring 2016 series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

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